Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's


Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's

Tiffany Midge
Foreword by Geary Hobson

216 pages


October 2019


$29.95 Add to Cart

May 2021


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2019


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2019


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Why is there no Native woman David Sedaris? Or Native Anne Lamott? Humor categories in publishing are packed with books by funny women and humorous sociocultural-political commentary—but no Native women. There are presumably more important concerns in Indian Country. More important than humor? Among the Diné/Navajo, a ceremony is held in honor of a baby’s first laugh. While the context is different, it nonetheless reminds us that laughter is precious, even sacred.

Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s is a powerful and compelling collection of Tiffany Midge’s musings on life, politics, and identity as a Native woman in America. Artfully blending sly humor, social commentary, and meditations on love and loss, Midge weaves short, stand-alone musings into a memoir that stares down colonialism while chastising hipsters for abusing pumpkin spice. She explains why she does not like pussy hats, mercilessly dismantles pretendians, and confesses her own struggles with white-bread privilege.  

Midge goes on to ponder Standing Rock, feminism, and a tweeting president, all while exploring her own complex identity and the loss of her mother. Employing humor as an act of resistance, these slices of life and matchless takes on urban-Indigenous identity disrupt the colonial narrative and provide commentary on popular culture, media, feminism, and the complications of identity, race, and politics.


Author Bio

Tiffany Midge is a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and was raised in the Pacific Northwest. She is a former columnist for Indian Country Today and taught writing and composition for Northwest Indian College. Her award-winning books are The Woman Who Married a Bear and Outlaws, Renegades, and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-Up Halfbreed. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Transmotion, the Offing, Waxwing, Moss, Okey-Pankey, Lit Hub, and World Literature Today. Midge resides in Moscow, Idaho, where she has served as the city’s poet laureate. She aspires to be the distinguished writer in residence at Seattle’s Space Needle. Geary Hobson is emeritus professor of English at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of numerous books, including The Last of the Ofos.


“This uproarious, truth-telling collection of satirical essays skewer[s] everything from white feminism to ‘Pretendians’ to pumpkin spice. Midge, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, muses bitingly on life as a Native woman in America, staring colonialism and racism in the face wherever she finds them, from offensive Halloween costumes to exploitative language. This collection’s deliciously sharp edges draw laughter and blood alike.”—Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire

“Midge is a hilarious satirical essayist and nonfiction writer, and her work brings all the laughs. But they are ‘thinky’ laughs, because the humor doubles back on itself and makes you see so much about modern Native American life in a new way.”—David Treuer, Los Angeles Times

“Midge is a wry, astute charmer with an eye for detail and an ear for the scruffy rhythms of American lingo.”—Sarah Vowell, author of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

"[A] cornucopia of literary brilliance. The Standing Rock Sioux writer’s wickedly funny autobiography offers laugh-out-loud passages alongside compassionate profiles, bitter sarcasm, and heartbreaking chronicles. Each of the memoirs are short yet potent, compelling the reader to continue while paradoxically causing one to pause to reflect on Midge’s astute observations. Every entry is so well-crafted that the only disappointment you’ll find is when you realize you’ve read them all. Then again, this is a book that demands to be reread."—Ryan Winn, Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education

"If you're wondering why the presence of Andrew Jackson's portrait in the Oval Office is offensive, this is your book."—Kirkus

"Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s is timely reading for the fall season, with Midge suggesting "Politically Correct Alternatives to Culturally Insensitive Halloween Costumes," and proclaiming "Hey America, I’m Taking Back Thanksgiving." Treat yourself to a fast-moving correction of any vestiges you may have of the stoic, unsmiling Native stereotype and enjoy at least a Tweet or a one-liner from Tiffany Midge. You’re sure to learn something as you laugh."—Jan Hardy, Back in the Stacks

"This collection of opinion editorials and recent essays solidifies Midge's standing as one of the most versatile talents in Native and American writing today."—Samantha Majhor, American Indian Culture and Research Journal

"[Midge's] no-b.s., take-no-prisoners approach is likely to resound with twenty-something readers, but the older crowd ought to give Midge a look, too."—Joan Curbow, Booklist

"Abundant with brilliant satire."—Shelf Awareness

“Tiffany Midge is the kind of funny that can make the same joke funny over and over again. Which means, of course, that she is wicked smart, and sly, and that she has her hand on the pulse of the culture in a Roxane Gay-ish way, only funnier, and that she has our number, your number, and my number too, all of our numbers. Which means she is our teacher, if we let her be.”—Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country 

Table of Contents

Foreword by Geary Hobson    

Part I: My Origin Story Is a Cross between “Call Me Ishmael,” a Few Too Many Whiskey Sours Packed in an Old Thermos at the Drive-In Double Feature, and That Little Voice That Says, “You Got This”
Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s    

Part II: Instead of a “Raised by Wolves” T-Shirt, Mine Says “Raised by Functioning Alcoholics with Intimacy Phobias & Low Self-Esteem”
The Jimmy Report    
My Name Is Moonbeam McSwine    
The Siam Sequences    

Part III: Micro (Aggression) Memoirs
First World (Story) Problems: Brown Girl Multiple Choice Edition    
Tweets as Assigned Texts for Native American Studies Course    
Ghoul, Interrupted    

Part IV: Garsh Durn It! You Say Patriarchy, I Say Patri-Malarkey, Dollars to Donuts Cuckoo Banana Pants, You Gals & Your Lady Power This ’n’ That
An Open Letter to White Women Concerning The Handmaid’s Tale and America’s Historical Amnesia    
Fertility Rites    
Wonder Woman Hits Theaters, Smashes Patriarchy    
Jame Gumb, Hero and Pioneer of the Fat-Positivity Movement    
Post-Election Message to the 53 Percent    
Committee of Barnyard Swine to Determine Fate for Women’s Health    
Champion Our Native Sisters! (but Only Selectively and under Certain Conditions)     
An Open Letter to White Girls Regarding Pumpkin Spice and Cultural Appropriation    

Part V: Me, Cutting in Front of All the People in All of the Lines Forever: “It’s Okay, I Literally Was Here First” #DecolonizedAF
Thousands of Jingle Dress Dancers Magically Appear at Standing Rock Protector Site    
Satire Article Goes Viral on Day of 2016 Presidential Election Results    
Attack of the Fifty-Foot (Lakota) Woman    
Minnesota Art Gallery to Demolish “Indian Uprisings” Exhibit after Caucasian Community Protest    
Why I Don’t Like “Pussy” Hats    
Li-Li-Li-Li-Land, Standing Rock the Musical!     

Part VI: Merciless Indian Savages? Try Merciless Indian Fabulous!
Redeeming the English Language (Acquisition) Series    
Fifty Shades of Buckskin    
Conversations with My Lakota Mom    
Feast Smudge Snag    
Eight Types of Native Moms    

Part VII: “Shill the Pretendian, Unfav the Genuine” Is the 2018 Remix of “Kill the Indian, Save the Man”
Red like Me: I Knew Rachel Dolezal Back When She Was Indigenous    
A List of Alternative Identities to Try for Fun and Profit    
I Have White Bread Privilege    
Things Pseudo-Native Authors Have Claimed to Be but Actually Are Not    
You Might Be a Pretendian    

Part VIII: I Watched Woman Walks Ahead and Frankly Was Offended by the Cookie-Cutter, Stereotypical Portrayal of the Menacing White Soldier
Reel Indians Don’t Eat Quiche: The Fight for Authentic Roles in Hollywood    
Are You There, Christmas? It’s Me, Carol!    
Post-Election U.S. Open in Racist Tirades Competition    
West Wing World    

Part IX: The Native Americans Used EVERY Part of the Sacred Turkey
Hey America, I’m Taking Back Thanksgiving    
Clown Costumes Banned, Racist Native American Halloween Costumes Still Okay    
Thanksgiving Shopping at Costco: I Just Can’t Even    
Politically Correct Alternatives to Culturally Insensitive Halloween Costumes    

Part X: BREAKING NEWS—Your Neighbor Who Said, “Whoa, Dude, This Whole Trump Thing’s, Like, So Fricken Surreal,” Might Actually Be on to Something
Step Right Up, Folks    
Trump Pardons Zombie Apocalypse    
There’s Something about Andrew Jackson    
Trump Administration to Repeal Bison as First National Mammal    
President Trump Scheduled for Whirlwind Tour to Desecrate World’s Treasures    

Part XI: The Trump Administration’s Pop-Up, Coloring, Scratch ’n’ Sniff, Edible, and Radioactive Activity Book
You’ve Got Mail!    
Executive Order Requiring All Americans Take Up Cigarettes by End of 2017    
The Wild West (Wing) and Wild Bill Hiccup    
Give a Chump a Chance    
Ars Poetica by Donald J. Trump    


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